Joan “Momma Jo” Gaither, 83, died late Thursday evening, December 5, 2019, at Mosaic Life Care Center in St. Joseph, MO.
Joan was born September 22, 1936, at Sparks, KS, one of seven children born to Oscar and Hazel Mooney Simpson and was a lifelong Doniphan County resident. She grew up at Sparks where she attended school and worked to obtain her GED. She and her husband Joe Sisk made their home in the Sparks/Highland/Troy communities where she worked for Whitaker Cable, Noma Lights, and Mead Products all of St. Joseph. She and Joe later divorced but still maintained a strong presence in Joan’s life thru the years. She later married Art Gaither. They drove an over the road tractor trailer rig for many years. Joan was probably best known for being a school bus driver for Highland Schools for many years. She was devoted to her family, well known her gravely voice, her quick wit with a filter, sometimes not. Once you proved yourself to her, you were friends for life, OR, the reverse!!
Joan was also preceded in death by her parents, sons James Sisk, Billy Joe Sisk, daughter Karen Baskins, sisters: Mary Kay Simpson, Helen Baxter, Wilma Laverentz, Maxine Caudle, a brother Junior Simpson, grandson Ronald Sisk, Jr.
Survivors include a daughter Veronica Sisk of St. Joseph, two sons Ronald Sisk (Sharon) of Gravois Mills, MO, Scott Sisk (Tammy) of Hiawatha; a brother Robert Simpson of St. Joseph, 9 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandson.
A Celebration of Joan’s life is planned for 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 11, at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Highland. Angie Cluck will officiate. Interment will follow at Iola Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home after 10 a.m. Tuesday where the family will meet that evening from 6 until 8. Memorial contributions are suggested to Paws 4 Autism sent in care of the funeral home, PO Box 33, 66035.